In today’s world, where a majority of people are multilingual, languages can and do open doors. Just imagine how amazing it would be for you to speak freely with people from different cultures. Sadly, language barriers often make such communication difficult. To solve this, many monolingual adults have resolved to learn other languages. Some do it for fun, while others learn foreign languages to enable them to study or work in various parts of the world.
You must have heard that children stand a better chance of learning a new language as compared to adults. Well, this should not discourage you because, with determination and the right set of tools, you’ll be able to master your target language at any age. In fact, adults even have some advantages over children.
Many late learners become native-like
Regardless of your age, you can learn a second language to an almost native-level proficiency.
There is discord among the scientific community about how important the so-called “critical period” is for second language acquisition, but nobody is claiming that becoming multilingual after a certain age is outright impossible.
The one thing where children do have a clear advantage is in accents. After a certain threshold is reached, acquiring a native-sounding accent gets more difficult. But even improving your accent is not an insurmountable goal. With the right understanding, technique, and a supportive accent coach, you can get as good at accents as Meryl Streep.
You have life experience
One thing you have working for you that children don’t have is life experience. You can put that to use in your language-learning.
For example, you can draw on past experience to create links between new vocabulary you need to learn. Connecting new material to existing knowledge is a proven way of remembering it better. Using these links will make it a lot easier for you to acquire much of the new language: vocabulary, new grammar rules, and even sounds. Additionally, you’ll know the worth of sticking to something and self-motivating. And, in the end, it’s your motivation that’ll make or break your fluency.
Writing your way to fluency
Another language-learning tool you have in your toolbox is writing. Learning a new language requires a lot of practice and putting words on paper is a great way of getting that. While not as important as speaking, writing can help you focus on the minute details of language, helping you hone your skills.
And better yet, you can even turn that into a living. There are plenty of essay writing services that you can enroll and become one of their foreign writers. CustomEssayOrder being one of them.
Age is not the only factor
There are plenty of factors that determine the ability of an individual to learn and understand a new language. And yes, age does play a role, but it’s not the deciding one.
For example, the more languages you speak, the easier it is to pick up the next one. And never underestimate the role of motivation: keeping your eye on the ball and preparing for a long-term commitment. In the end, acquiring a new language comes down to repetition and forming a habit of learning. And these are things adults are much better at than children.
Keeping your goal in mind for motivation
In today’s increasingly globalized world, speaking more than one language is a very valuable commodity on the job market. Keeping that in mind is a great way of maintaining a high level of motivation through the arduous process of language-learning.
If you’re very focused, you can even turn the learning itself into a source of income. For instance, a reliable essay writing service will provide you with an opportunity to write an essay in a language of your choice. In addition to earning a bit of extra money, this will be a great way of practicing your new language skills.
Self-Discipline is easier when you’re older
As we mentioned before, discipline and creating an effective routine are vital in your quest of fluency. And this is another area where adults excel. If you’ve ever happened to see a class full of tired primary students, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
As you grow older, your ability to concentrate on one job at hand also improves. While 5-year-olds are able to focus on a task for about 15 minutes, you can keep your attention for much longer. Attention spans together with your ability to guide your behavior are invaluable resources in keeping yourself coming back to practicing your target language every day.
You’re able to find and fix your mistakes
Another area where adults are better than children is recognizing and working on improving their mistakes. Of course, mistakes are completely normal in language-learning and you shouldn’t worry about them too much. But if they become ingrained, they’re much more difficult to get rid of. So the ability to understand where you need improvement is a wonderful quality in anyone trying to improve their foreign language skills. And what’s better yet, once you know where you’re lacking, you can make a focused effort to better that particular area.
There’s now a widely held belief that children have an innate ability to pick up languages. In the end, do you remember how you learned your mother tongue? No, you don’t; it simply happened without any conscious effort. But, just because you lose this ability after a certain age, doesn’t mean that all is lost. In many ways, adults are even better language-learners than children. You can tie new information to existing knowledge and are able to guide yourself better to targeted practice. Your understanding of why you want to acquire a new language can serve as a source of motivation, keeping you coming back to your studies day in and day out, which is the ultimate recipe for success.
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